Canadian Patent Issued for NP-120 to Treat Lung Diseases

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by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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Algernon Pharmaceuticals has secured a patent in Canada covering the use of NP-120 (ifenprodil) as a treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other interstitial lung diseases driven by uncontrolled scarring in the lungs.

The patent (No. 3101853), “Compositions and Methods for Treating Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis,” was issued by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

“We are very pleased to be granted this patent by the CIPO,” Christopher J. Moreau, CEO of Algernon, said in a press release. “This is an important milestone for the company as we continue to strengthen our global IP [intellectual property] position.”

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The patent is expected to be valid through 2038, barring any patent term adjustments or extensions, according to Algernon. The company also is seeking patent protection of NP-120 for the same indications in the U.S., Europe, China and Japan.

NP-120 is a formulation of the oral medication ifenprodil, which was developed originally by Sanofi and as a treatment for circulatory system disorders under the brand name Cerocal.

The therapy works by blocking the activity of glutamate receptors, which regulate a number of involuntary bodily functions, including coughing. NP-120 has demonstrated efficacy at reducing lung scarring and easing cough in rodent lab models.

Because formulations of ifenprodil are already approved and its safety profile is well-known, Algernon was able to move directly into Phase 2 clinical testing of NP-120 in people with IPF.

The company sponsored a Phase 2 clinical trial (NCT04318704) that enrolled 20 IPF patients who experienced chronic cough.

All of the participants in the open-label trial were given NP-120 (20 mg three times daily) for 12 weeks, or about three months. The study’s main goals are to assess the effect of treatment on cough frequency — measured by a monitor worn by participants — and its effect on forced vital capacity, a lung function parameter that measures how much air a person can forcibly exhale after a deep breath.

Top-line results from the study are expected to be announced in July, Algernon has reported. The company recently announced trial participants had requested additional supply of the experimental therapy for their own personal use beyond the clinical trial.

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